Major business magazine says Surface is 'doomed' because of viruses, forgets it can't get Windows viruses


Microsoft's Surface tablet can't get viruses designed for Windows, but don't tell Inc.com that.

There's been a lot of talk about how Microsoft is doing with the sales of its Surface tablet, and now one journalist with a major business magazine is putting in his two cents on why Surface should be avoided in an interesting – and extremely misinformed – way.

According to Geoffrey James of Inc.com, Microsoft's Surface with Windows RT tablet will fail because viruses and root kits are "inherent in Windows's design." He may have a point, if Windows RT didn't run on a completely different architecture than Windows 8 and previous versions of Windows.

In his own "horror story," James discusses how he obtained a virus (or a root kit – he's not quite clear on that either) on his Windows 7 computer. This horror story is why he says users should stay away from Surface, again forgetting the very fact that viruses won't run on Windows RT (at least not unless they're completely rewritten, which could hypothetically happen with Android or iOS as well).

Another issue, James claims, is that applications will cause instability with Windows RT. Again, however, Windows RT doesn't run traditional desktop applications. The only desktop applications it runs were recompiled by Microsoft specifically for ARM. Even if they were to recompile their programs, other developers don't have access to the desktop because of the digital signature Microsoft requires.

At the end of his article, James recommends "anything other than the Surface" precisely because of viruses that Surface is incapable of getting. He also says the concept behind the tablet is flawed and "Windows is getting so old and creaky that it's getting to be more a bother than its worth."

Source: Inc.com | Image via Microsoft

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Twitter launches calendar of API changes

Next Story

Nokia to raise cash by selling its headquarters

119 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

Windows RT doesn't let third-party apps modify the OS - they are sandboxed. Desktop apps can, but they aren't available for RT, other than those supplied by Microsoft.

He's right that the fact that apps can modify the OS is a risk, but he ignores the fact that that is the key difference between RT and previous versions of Windows, including 7 - in RT (and 8 for Metro apps) they can't, at least in theory.

Comments on the Inc. site are back, with Mr. James furiously trying to defend himself. He even updated the original article in a futile attempt to bolster his claims. Suffice to say, his credibility is now forever tarnished.

fuzi0719 said,
Comments on the Inc. site are back, with Mr. James furiously trying to defend himself. He even updated the original article in a futile attempt to bolster his claims. Suffice to say, his credibility is now forever tarnished.

thanks for the heads up I thought for sure that comments were disabled for good on this article, I really enjoy watching the author just continually defend his fail claims

Mr. James needs to do himself a favor and quit defending his article because it not helping at all

Small point. Surface is doomed for the business community because it is not designed for business use. Personal use or games, certainly, and it probably does it well. But for business use, very doubtful.

TsarNikky said,
Small point. Surface is doomed for the business community because it is not designed for business use. Personal use or games, certainly, and it probably does it well. But for business use, very doubtful.

Thanks for the opinion. I'm waiting for the Surface Pro to be released in Q1. I will then supply every one of my 500+ employees with one. I've never seen a product more designed for business than Surface Pro - with its ability to do handwriting. Specially here in China.

TsarNikky said,
Small point. Surface is doomed for the business community because it is not designed for business use. Personal use or games, certainly, and it probably does it well. But for business use, very doubtful.

The Surface RT maybe but then it's a media consumption device aimed at the consumer unlike the Surface Pro which is aimed squarely at the Business market.

The nutjob just deleted my comment! I was questioning his integrity as a professional author, and not just a casual blogger or a fanboi penning his thoughts of the Surface tablet!

I had a numerous email exchange with Geoffrey the author of the article over on Inc and It's fair to say the guy is anti-Windows / anti-Microsoft.

Robbie Ride said,
I had a numerous email exchange with Geoffrey the author of the article over on Inc and It's fair to say the guy is anti-Windows / anti-Microsoft.

I got a reply email saying how he couldnt care what I thought and a link to his book lol. I replied back and for some strange reason he didn't respond ? Suffice to say he got pwned (,")

BAH! Just before I posted this comment, they shut down the comments section:

=====================================================

Inc.: I read from other sites that comments on this article are being deleted now. Why is that? Is it because the 'author' can't handle the truth and can't take criticism for an obviously badly written piece? I take it other people aren't welcome to have their own opinions, such as the one explained in this article? I can understand deleting abusive posts, and I think that an opinion can be shared without abusing others', but to delete informed user comments portrays fear of knowledge that is greater than your author's own.

Geoff: is it a part of your repertoire to do the exactly the opposite of proper research before writing misinformed and misleading 'articles' such as this one? These days, technology changes extremely quickly, so did you think that your previous 'experience' gave you the basis and the backing to try to scare people away from this new product, especially when it's based on incorrect information?

You seem to believe that the iPad is the be-all and end-all of enterprise-level devices. In the face of recent news that iPads are being dumped in droves because of the usefulness of the Surface RT, I don't think you know what you're talking about.

I'm guessing here, but I really don't understand the reasoning behind someone who has been an author, yet does clearly no research for the subject at hand.

As the saying goes, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all". That doesn't exacly apply here, but a slight modification does: If you don't know what you're talking about, keep your mouth shut and your 'opinions' to yourself. The only thing you accomplished here was to make yourself look stupid. I'm not being abusive; I'm just stating a fact.

Inc.: The author OWES his readers accurate information, yet clearly didn't make the effort to get that information, and then attempts to mislead and misdirect. As a destination site for so many people/businesses, etc, I would seriously suggest you pull the article before it does any more damage to your reputation than has already been done. While you may also delete my comment, I've copied and pasted to another site, where it won't be treated the same. If you leave it up, props to you.

=====================================================

I guess them shutting down the system tells us all we need to know .

This is like my friends saying they hate Windows 8 because they can't install programs on it. What are they on about? You just install programs on Windows 8 just like you have for the previous 3 version of Windows... Makes me so mad.

This guy is just a Microsoft Hater. Nothing he says even relates to Surface. It relates to his Windows 7 computer. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this article says "Don't buy Surface because it doesn't get Viruses".

Between Microsoft Windows RT (also Includes Windows 8 app store ecosystem), Apple iOS and Google Android which are the top 3 mobile ecosystems (no I'm not counting RIM), only the Android Operating System is open enough to allow malicious applications to be truly malicious. By design Android (a bastardized version of Linux and Java APIs) does not limit access to the file system or what applications may or may not do.

You see, Google copies everyone and everything, so they tried to copy the functionality of legacy Windows and that's where they went wrong. Apple on the other hand did not copy Windows and made their own stuff. With Windows RT, even Microsoft did not copy Microsoft.

In a world where the more machines your Operating System is installed on the more chances you have of getting malicious developers target your OS with Viruses, Google is really feeling it due in part to their success and in part to their ignorance regarding application security. Apple did a much better job so they are not feeling it with iOS.

Legacy Windows (anything before Windows RT) is in this mess with Viruses because of one single reason, YOU !!! (and me). Let me explain - Over the years Windows has become a major target for Viruses, but we did not allow Microsoft to radically change Windows, instead we cried out "BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY". And as with anything else on this planet, money talks. So, version after version, Microsoft gave us our backwards compatibility.

I don't know for sure who at Microsoft is responsible for standing-up to ALL of us and saying it's enough... No more legacy support, no more backwards compatibility, no more viruses. That person who is ultimately responsible for having taken the decision to give us Windows RT deserves a medal and his/her own monument.

It's easy to get lost in all the hate for what Windows RT does not do, but if you take an educated moment to think about all the positive aspects of this removed functionality, you will see the light, and what a beautiful light it is indeed.

Why do you take away a pointy object from your young child, so he or she does not poke their eyes out right? I think legacy Windows was that pointy stick, and we need to let it go so we don't poke our eyes out in the long-run.

NocturnalAlloy said,
Between Microsoft Windows RT (also Includes Windows 8 app store ecosystem), Apple iOS and Google Android which are the top 3 mobile ecosystems (no I'm not counting RIM), only the Android Operating System is open enough to allow malicious applications to be truly malicious. By design Android (a bastardized version of Linux and Java APIs) does not limit access to the file system or what applications may or may not do.

You see, Google copies everyone and everything, so they tried to copy the functionality of legacy Windows and that's where they went wrong. Apple on the other hand did not copy Windows and made their own stuff. With Windows RT, even Microsoft did not copy Microsoft.

In a world where the more machines your Operating System is installed on the more chances you have of getting malicious developers target your OS with Viruses, Google is really feeling it due in part to their success and in part to their ignorance regarding application security. Apple did a much better job so they are not feeling it with iOS.

Legacy Windows (anything before Windows RT) is in this mess with Viruses because of one single reason, YOU !!! (and me). Let me explain - Over the years Windows has become a major target for Viruses, but we did not allow Microsoft to radically change Windows, instead we cried out "BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY". And as with anything else on this planet, money talks. So, version after version, Microsoft gave us our backwards compatibility.

I don't know for sure who at Microsoft is responsible for standing-up to ALL of us and saying it's enough... No more legacy support, no more backwards compatibility, no more viruses. That person who is ultimately responsible for having taken the decision to give us Windows RT deserves a medal and his/her own monument.

It's easy to get lost in all the hate for what Windows RT does not do, but if you take an educated moment to think about all the positive aspects of this removed functionality, you will see the light, and what a beautiful light it is indeed.

Why do you take away a pointy object from your young child, so he or she does not poke their eyes out right? I think legacy Windows was that pointy stick, and we need to let it go so we don't poke our eyes out in the long-run.

To be fair, Microsoft has done a remarkable job of taking unconstrained and unmanaged and unfettered code and securing it in ways that are equal to many VM/Sandbox and managed ecosystems.

If you watch how a traditional 'old school' application is handled on Windows, it is approaching a sandbox level of protection from the OS and other applications through virtualization to create App isolation and realtime code checking and security that come from the PCA.

Windows 7 & 8, we are at a point that the only malware and exploits that of are concern come in through holes in entry points created by things like JAVA and Flash and have to work hard to break through the virtual 'sandboxing' that Microsoft has created for legacy applications.

The Neowin writers are just as as bad.

"Surface with Windows RT tablet will fail" links to "Why the Microsoft Surface is Doomed"

The writer doesn't mention RT (at least until his 'update') ... so why is Anthony Tosie putting words into his mouth?

I'm not agreeing/disagreeing with what the author is saying, but pot kettle black much? bull**** article about a bull**** article.

Uplift said,
The Neowin writers are just as as bad.

"Surface with Windows RT tablet will fail" links to "Why the Microsoft Surface is Doomed"

The writer doesn't mention RT (at least until his 'update') ... so why is Anthony Tosie putting words into his mouth?

I'm not agreeing/disagreeing with what the author is saying, but pot kettle black much? bull**** article about a bull**** article.


Surface with Windows RT is the full name Microsoft has given Surface, including in press materials. If you read his update, he makes it clear he was talking about Windows RT as well. So what's the issue here?

He updated his review, saying that he's aware that RT runs on arm, but that the fundamentals of Windows 8 are still insecure... He really doesn't have a clue what he's talking about

... mr james has just said he knows how to program in assembly and therefore more than qualified to write the article

Has there ever been a version of "Windows RT" before? If not, how does he know anything about the track record of the Windows architecture as it relates to "RT" since it really hasn't existed prior to last month. If he truly believes that he needs to write the same article about Windows 8 Mobile.

His reply that has since been deleted is ridiculous, Microsoft has never attempted what they are doing. When did they release their own hardware with their own software? I must of missed that. The article should be praising Microsoft regardless of the success of the Surface for finally stepping out of the box and trying something new. Inc.com is no longer in my morning news website rotation...just kidding it never was!

Another update from him:
"UPDATE: Just to clarify, I'm well aware that Windows RT is based on ARM architecture and that the stability and security problems with the mainstream Windows operating system may not recur in that environment.

However, in order to be viable as a new tablet architecture, the Surface will need to quickly attract a plethora of apps. Microsoft's plan to make that happen crutches on compatibility between the tablet-like layer atop Windows 8 and the Surface's OS.

There is no question in my mind that Windows 8 will continue to be unstable and insecure because it's part of the architecture and the addition of the tablet-like interface will make supporting Windows even more Byzantine.

The sales growth in tablets over the past two years has been monumental. An increasing number of people are seeing them as laptop and even desktop replacements.

The question is how long are people willing to tolerate the complexity of mainstream Windows when there are better alternatives. This is a problem that the Surface does not really address, which is why I believe it's doomed."

He still doesn't get it...wow

The comments section were the best part of that article. Unfortunately most people see the headline and the damage gets done. By design.

Articles like these hurt the adoption of W8 by spreading pure fud.

Even though he got a new one ripped by the comments, a lot of people reading those articles don't read the comments as well. Result, a flawed idea of what W8 and a Surface is.

It's bordering on slander, but this article is as bad as I read them lately.
Wired, Gizmodo, Engadget etc. at least pretend they're reviewing it unbiased.

And yes, writing like that gives you the title 'idiot'.........

aaaaaaand it's back.

My god, his reply is so condescending.

"Geoffrey James · Tuesday at 11:53am
I am of course aware that RT is a different architecture. However, the only way that a new tablet can become viable is to attract numerous apps. This will only happen if the RT layer on Windows 8 is stable and usable. Since that's not going to happen, the Surface will fail.

Think, people! Consider Microsoft's track record when it comes to tablet computing and smart phones! Consider the uphill battle that Android has fought when it comes to getting apps hosted; even at a much more attractive price point, it's still way behind Apple.

However, it's obvious from the comments below, some people have already bet their career that I'm wrong about this. Interestingly, they seem more interested in name calling than in addressing the ongoing security and stability issues inherent in the Windows architecture."

Merson316 said,
aaaaaaand it's back.

My god, his reply is so condescending.

"Geoffrey James · Tuesday at 11:53am
I am of course aware that RT is a different architecture. However, the only way that a new tablet can become viable is to attract numerous apps. This will only happen if the RT layer on Windows 8 is stable and usable. Since that's not going to happen, the Surface will fail.

Think, people! Consider Microsoft's track record when it comes to tablet computing and smart phones! Consider the uphill battle that Android has fought when it comes to getting apps hosted; even at a much more attractive price point, it's still way behind Apple.

However, it's obvious from the comments below, some people have already bet their career that I'm wrong about this. Interestingly, they seem more interested in name calling than in addressing the ongoing security and stability issues inherent in the Windows architecture."


I guess he is a thick headed guy

The author finally responded to the comments. Check out the comment section. He still doesn't get it, as he is repeating the same arguments that are not valid with Windows RT.

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,
The author finally responded to the comments. Check out the comment section. He still doesn't get it, as he is repeating the same arguments that are not valid with Windows RT.

He changed the article and removed all reference to Windows RT. It links now to a Surface Pro tablet pricing article only.

Nazmus Shakib Khandaker said,
The author finally responded to the comments. Check out the comment section. He still doesn't get it, as he is repeating the same arguments that are not valid with Windows RT.

I don't see a comments section.

**Edit:
If you have an adblocker enabled try turning it off.

While I agree this guy is misinformed about Windows 8/RT, calling him an idiot isn't right either. Maybe he represents the public at large who is often ignorant of tech and just know enough to do what they want to do with it.
He may be wrong, but willing to bet plenty of others in and out of tech think like him.

Sekyal said,
While I agree this guy is misinformed about Windows 8/RT, calling him an idiot isn't right either. Maybe he represents the public at large who is often ignorant of tech and just know enough to do what they want to do with it.
He may be wrong, but willing to bet plenty of others in and out of tech think like him.

But he is a PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST. It's his JOB to research on what he is writing about. He might be an "average joe", but he has a job to do, and he failed to do it correctly.

Sekyal said,
While I agree this guy is misinformed about Windows 8/RT, calling him an idiot isn't right either. Maybe he represents the public at large who is often ignorant of tech and just know enough to do what they want to do with it.
He may be wrong, but willing to bet plenty of others in and out of tech think like him.

posting stuff like that in a major business mag is a bit idiotic though. i mean, you should at least check your facts.

pes2013 said,
Here you go guys

gj@geoffreyjames.com

Since I know you want to contact him on his great article


Please don't troll him. It's one thing to send him an email letting him know his article is incorrect, it's another to just be rude.

Anthony Tosie said,

Please don't troll him. It's one thing to send him an email letting him know his article is incorrect, it's another to just be rude.

As if any of us would do such a thing like that lol.

This article just floors me. I've invited the Inc. author to appear on my podcast and discuss. Think there is a chance he will? surfacegeeks.net

SurfaceGeeks said,
This article just floors me. I've invited the Inc. author to appear on my podcast and discuss. Think there is a chance he will? surfacegeeks.net

Thanks for letting me know about your site and podcast. Great site. I will be a new listener of your podcast.

It amazes me how easily, those in the tech community who, espouse a technical knowledge are nothing more than incompetent shills. Who use their soapbox to admonish products and to spread misinformation and personal bias.

Disgusting.

The average Joe understand the same : windows 7 = windows 8 = windows rt.

However, the main problem is Windows RT can't get neither viruses nor "legacy" software.

The only thing I'm seeing doomed is his career in journalism, he just threw his credibility down the pipe. And for people in his industry, credibility is everything to them.

Apparently, the article was updated, and any RT reference was removed - only a link to the Pro version pricing now exist.

It would be so funny right about now if some hackers managed to write and release a virus/trogan/malware that infects a bunch of iPads right now.

*Sigh* this is not good. Now little by little non-tech people will say that THAT device will get ANY Windows 8 virus....

To the Author of the original article I have a new phrase that will help you with your future career "Do you want fries with that?"

Also in his article he clearly comes across as a completely inexperienced windows user, who honestly spends that much money and time on the phone getting windows fixed? It could have been a scam call for all we know.
Also his lack of knowledge about being able to get infected by browsing dodgy websites.... perhaps we should check his browsing history

To be fair he never mentioned RT in his article. He only talks about the Surface. I'm sure he is not that stupid to not know the difference between the Pro and RT. But of course he should have mentioned the difference and it just shows once more how bad Microsoft's marketing is on the RT.

Funny how everyone's confused if he means RT or not, if people here are confused, imagine how the general public is about it. I do dislike it when people with a large audience do things like this, especially when it's clear he's just bitter about some personal experience. RT is doomed, but for different reasons...

So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

See third paragraph. (Also, I think you meant Windows RT; there's no such thing as Windows 8 ARM.)

Anthony Tosie said,

See third paragraph. (Also, I think you meant Windows RT; there's no such thing as Windows 8 ARM.)

No there isn't a Windows 8 ARM, but the virus would have to be an ARM virus, which is why I used the word ARM. The virus while having to be able to run on RT would have to be written for ARM.

warwagon said,

No there isn't a Windows 8 ARM, but the virus would have to be an ARM virus, which is why I used the word ARM. The virus while having to be able to run on RT would have to be written for ARM.


Yes, which is what I wrote

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

But the N64 can be emulated which means that it is wrong, so you are saying that his statement is also wrong?

Teebor said,

But the N64 can be emulated which means that it is wrong, so you are saying that his statement is also wrong?

No, but for a long time after its release "the Nintendo 64 can't be emulated on a PC" was a common statement. It was considered close to impossible for a long time.

Then UltraHLE came out, and proved people wrong, and changed the entire emulation scene forever.

So the point of the original post was, just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't happen.

cyberdrone2000 said,

No, but for a long time after its release "the Nintendo 64 can't be emulated on a PC" was a common statement. It was considered close to impossible for a long time.

Then UltraHLE came out, and proved people wrong, and changed the entire emulation scene forever.

So the point of the original post was, just because it hasn't happened yet, doesn't mean it can't happen.

You win the post response of the day award! You said it even better than me!

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

Windows RT (i.e. the version of Windows that run on ARM) can't get viruses in the same way that iOS devices can't get viruses. Heck, Microsoft (to the disappointment of many) locked down Windows RT such that only "Windows 8 style apps" a.k.a. Metro apps from the Windows Store can run on them.

Essentially this is the same as Apple locking down iOS devices such that they run only applications from the Apple App Store.

Both devices are technically capable of running code from elsewhere, but they are locked down to prevent that.

If we are to say that a virus can be written for Windows RT, then either 1) the Windows Store allowed it in or 2) someone has managed to run unauthorized code on Windows RT. In iOS terms: 1 = Apple did not check the app properly (not as though it had not happened before), or 2 = an exploit is found that breaks that locks i.e. Jailbreaking!

So since iOS devices have been Jailbroken, virus authors could essentially use the jailbreak techniques to run malicious code on iOS devices - it's just that devs that discovered the exploits didn't use them for malicious purposes, and Apple has been rather quick to patch the jailbreak exploits (hence new jailbreaking techniques required for new iOS versions). For example the jailbreakme.com technique from some time back could actually run arbitrary code with superuser rights simply by visiting a web page - the same thing could have been used to drop a virus payload onto a iOS device that visited a webpage with malicious code.

In summary, if we say Windows RT CAN get viruses, then iOS also CAN get viruses... but most people argue the latter is not true.

Edited by Kai Y, Dec 4 2012, 4:09pm :

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

Very valid point, but then we should discourage people to buy the iPad too because at some point they might create a virsus for iOS

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

Each Windows 8/RT application runs in it's own secured silo with no possible access to other applications or the Operating System. In the event an application requires access to the file system for example, the same applies. A "contract" also needs to exist between the application and what it's trying to access, this access is limited by what's in the contract, for example "Read Write access to .JPG files". Each contract is presented to the end user in the form "This application requires access to XYZ...", an application can't access any executable. This is all enforced by the Operating System and there is simply no way around it. Also, all developers that want to be registered with the windows Store get their identity verified by a 3rd Party that's under contract by Microsoft. And not to forget, unauthorized background tasks can't execute.

So, if a developer was to write a malicious ARM (or Windows 8 app store) compiled application that wanted access to your documents in order to delete them, he would first encounter lots of restrictions while developing the application, making it near non-malicious at the time it would hit the Windows Store, next Microsoft would have to validate the application and verify that it was non malicious in the process, then even if it got through those stages, users would be prompted with proper UI messages from the Operating System, such as "Application XYZ wants to delete files in your Documents folder, do you authorize this?".

So as you can see, Viruses can't execute in this environment. As far as malware in general, the environment is so limited and restricted for each single application that the possible destructive nature of an application is next to nothing.

Windows RT is the future of Windows, as soon as most big software titles are made to be native to Windows 8 (app store), then there won't be any reason to keep backwards compatibility for mainstream users and that my friend will be the end of Windows Viruses.

And folks, let's not forget that All Windows 8 versions, from RT to Pro are all built on the Windows RT kernel, the non-RT versions simply have extra features that allow it to be backwards compatible when running on an x86/ia64 platform.

warwagon said,
So what happens when a Windows 8 ARM virus is released? While there are no ARM viruses at the moment, to say it CAN"T get viruses... is this the same "can't" used when saying "The Nintendo 64 "can't" be emulated on a pc"?

Even if that happens, good luck getting it to run on a Windows RT device.

1) Code has to be signed, no exceptions
2) Apps have to be screened by Microsoft, no exceptions

Shall I go on?

Even if a Virus were written to gain a hole in through the browser, it would have the capability of affecting ZERO things on the tablet.

Out of iPad, Android, and Windows RT - only one has true App isolation and in theory is nearly impossible to run malicious code, and that is the Surface. The WinRT environment is much like WP7 in that it is a platform designed for several layers of security that Android and iOS do not have.


Even if the author was talking about Windows 8 Surface Pro, he would have some really flimsy statistics to back up what he is saying, as there have been more attacks carried out on Android than Windows 7 in the past two years.

In terms of OS security and actual exploits, in percentage of computers in use to infected systems, right now Android, iOS, OS X and Linux are the most insecure OSes in that order, with Windows 7 coming in a distant last place.

It literally takes 'work' to get a virus on Windows 8 due to the built in protections and the overall sandboxing of newer Apps. And that is talking about the traditional x86 version which isn't even as secure as the x64 version and is far less secure than the locked down WOA (Windows RT) version.

NocturnalAlloy said,

And folks, let's not forget that All Windows 8 versions, from RT to Pro are all built on the Windows RT kernel, the non-RT versions simply have extra features that allow it to be backwards compatible when running on an x86/ia64 platform.

I assume you mean NT and that is a typo.

Additionally, it isn't that there are extra features, it is Applications have been built for the existing architectures. They are all running essentially the same code base.

From NT on WP8 to NT on Windows Server 2012 the actual code is 99.99% the same, with ONLY the HAL, architecture level drivers, and a few pieces of machine code being different.

WP8 is a bit more different, as the Win32 subsystem is hidden and users can only see or access the WinRT-ish framework.

However Windows RT (WOA) is the same code as what you have loaded on your x86 or x64 computer, but with an ARM Hal and compiled for ARM from the same code.

People assume that the all the Windows NT versions are different and only share some concepts or just basic kernel level code. It is really the same OS just recompiled for each architecture with a architecture specific HAL written and optimized that exposes the NT 'expected' architecture to the kernel.

This is what makes NT so portable (beyond being written in a portable language), and it is also what makes it fast when ported as the OS doesn't have to compensate or be re-written to work around architectures. NT is far more portable Linux, which people find surprising.

Just to push this concept a bit further so everyone understand how impressive the extensibility of the NT architecture is, the EXEs and DLLs from the normal desktop Windows 8 x64 are the same EXEs and DLLs used on Windows 2012 Server, even though the role and purposes are quite different.

They aren't even 'recompiled' differently, they are literally the same exact files. This was true of Windows 7 x64 and Windows 2008 R2 Server as well. The way Windows knows how to operate different between desktop and Server version is just settings that come from the Registry. (Linux doesn't even try to do this, nor can it with dependencies and kernel level compiled optimizations necessary.)

Not to rail on the entire site, but this writer has insured that inc.com will not be getting any visits from me. Irresponsible 'journalism' should never be rewarded with page views, even to leave critical comments.

When a normal user goes to BestBuy to buy a Windows machine, the price he see is not usually the price he pays, they will sell him the Machine, and they will offer some kind of additional warranty, then they will advise him to upgrade windows to ultimate, then they will tell him everything about viruses and sell him an antivirus, then they will sell him support because windows will keep breaking down, and then they will sell him office.

Now the guy may not buy all of this at BestBuy, but he will eventually go through that path, will get infected, malware, cleanup, lose a file or 2, has to do backups, etc, etc, etc.
The people remember that under the name Microsoft Windows!
Now, when you start selling tablets with the name Windows RT, although it solves many of the above, it is still called Windows, and the people don't have the time to read about all of that, and even if they had, Microsoft kept saying that they improved Windows over the years, you believe it once, twice, and then it becomes “yeh right”

Maybe they should have called it Microsoft Surface OS

Fair enough point, but it still doesn't excuse a "journalist" from conflating the two. The average joe, maybe, but not someone who is supposed to be actively reading and researching their articles.

john.smith_2084 said,
When a normal user goes to BestBuy to buy a Windows machine, the price he see is not usually the price he pays, they will sell him the Machine, and they will offer some kind of additional warranty, then they will advise him to upgrade windows to ultimate, then they will tell him everything about viruses and sell him an antivirus, then they will sell him support because windows will keep breaking down, and then they will sell him office.

Now the guy may not buy all of this at BestBuy, but he will eventually go through that path, will get infected, malware, cleanup, lose a file or 2, has to do backups, etc, etc, etc.
The people remember that under the name Microsoft Windows!
Now, when you start selling tablets with the name Windows RT, although it solves many of the above, it is still called Windows, and the people don't have the time to read about all of that, and even if they had, Microsoft kept saying that they improved Windows over the years, you believe it once, twice, and then it becomes “yeh right”

Maybe they should have called it Microsoft Surface OS

I agree that it could have had a different name... but Surface OS would not have worked since Surface is Microsoft's flagship. Acer would get ****ed if they had to install Surface OS on their tablets.

Then again I think Windows RT and Windows 8 sound like different names... I mean it's still Windows.
It's not Windows 8 RT, so it shouldnt be confused with 8 at all. I don think the confusion comes from the name of the OS. Most users don't even know or care about the name of an OS.

The problem is with the device name.
If you look at the official site, they seem to be marketing them as Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro.

They should have named the devices Surface Basic and Surface Pro, or something along those lines. Even just giving them an official name of Surface RT and Surface Pro would have sufficed because people would see two different versions and wonder what the difference is.

The problem at this moment is that there's only one version available, RT... And people assume it's running Windows 8.

"I used to work in an operating system development group. One thing I learned back then is that any OS that allows applications to modify the OS will be inherently unstable and insecure." LOL... what major OS now isn't designed that way? This guy needs to be fired.

airedwin said,
"I used to work in an operating system development group. One thing I learned back then is that any OS that allows applications to modify the OS will be inherently unstable and insecure." LOL... what major OS now isn't designed that way? This guy needs to be fired.

I like the comment Ed Bott wrote on his twitter feed:

"@blowdart Well, he says "I used to work in an operating system development group." Presumably making coffee or emptying trash cans."

With the level of knowledge Mr James has I wouldn't be surprised if he was the Coffee Boy or Janitor!!!

He doesn't even know how to remove a virus and had to pay $99 for tech support? And he's supposed to be an informed tech writer? That right there takes away any sort of credibility.

This guy is a f'n idiot. I really hope Microsoft takes action quick. Even if it was another company like Google or Apple, I'd say the same thing. When these magazines, ESPECIALLY major ones, write bull like that, it's ridiculous.

To be fair, you mention "Windows RT" while the author from Inc doesn't mention RT, they just say Windows... So they could be talking about the pro version?

Andrew Lyle said,
To be fair, you mention "Windows RT" while the author from Inc doesn't mention RT, they just say Windows... So they could be talking about the pro version?

He is comparing it to the iPad which would likely mean he is talking about the RT version.

bdsams said,

He is comparing it to the iPad which would likely mean he is talking about the RT version.


I can say the something, but be talking about the windows pro version

Andrew Lyle said,
To be fair, you mention "Windows RT" while the author from Inc doesn't mention RT, they just say Windows... So they could be talking about the pro version?

I'd give Inc. the benefit of the doubt if the context of the entire article didn't indicate otherwise. In the last section, James states he'd recommend "anything other than the Surface" when the Surface doesn't have any of the issues he supposedly has with it (that would be issues with the Surface Pro). So why not recommend the Surface and not the Surface Pro? The logic just doesn't follow.

Edited by Anthony Tosie, Dec 4 2012, 3:11pm :

Andrew Lyle said,
To be fair, you mention "Windows RT" while the author from Inc doesn't mention RT, they just say Windows... So they could be talking about the pro version?


Read his replies to comments, he does not know the difference between RT and WIndows 8

Deviate_X said,


Read his replies to comments, he does not know the difference between RT and WIndows 8

He just updated his article.. yeah he's a moron. He confirmed he was discussing Windows RT.

Andrew Lyle said,
To be fair, you mention "Windows RT" while the author from Inc doesn't mention RT, they just say Windows... So they could be talking about the pro version?

Except the Pro version is not out and a date for it to come out has not been announced.

If tech journalists in normal magazines actually knew stuff about technology, they'd be employed at a tech magazine and get a better salary...

What a poopy website, I wanted to create an account to comment on the article so I tried to log in with Facebook which just redirected me to the Facebook homepage and when I tried to create an account from scratch it asked for a company name and the amount of employees... even though I selected that I'm a student. Eventually I got to the last page where it just stared at me and refused to submit my details, it was probably for the best.

scorpian007 said,
I posted a comment on the article stating he should get his facts right before writing garbage, looks like it got deleted

Yeah looks like they're deleting comments now, mine got nuked as well.

Simon- said,
Surface RT can't run existing viruses... Or any other existing application for that matter.

Well to be accurate any existing x86 application - the WS is full of existing applications now..

I am reasonably sure that this gentleman has never touched a Surface before in his life, and if he has, he did not actually use it.

SoCalRox said,

About half what MS pays the guys here.

Well if he'd been paid the same amount he would have done a better job of being an Apple sponsored moron!!!!

fuzi0719 said,
Don't you love it when some pontificating blowhard outs himself as a complete idiot?

Not when other idiots start to believe it and spread this crap.

engii said,
can anyone call ******** on this guy at inc.com

I looked, but there's no comments section on there. I did tweet him this article though.

MightyJordan said,

I looked, but there's no comments section on there. I did tweet him this article though.

There is a comment on there, look again.

Jarrichvdv said,
There is a comment on there, look again.

Hmm, so there is. There was nothing at all when I last looked at it. Must not have loaded up properly.

ffMathy said,
I can't even begin to describe how much hate to the author this generates in my case.

The fact that this guy managed to get a virus discredits anything he has to say about technology. If you have any intelligence, you won't get a virus.


edit - replied to the wrong comment but whatever
edit2 - lolol and he had to make a support call and pay $99 to fix it. classic.

no-sweat said,

The fact that this guy managed to get a virus discredits anything he has to say about technology. If you have any intelligence, you won't get a virus.


edit - replied to the wrong comment but whatever
edit2 - lolol and he had to make a support call and pay $99 to fix it. classic.


He got the virus on his Windows 7 computer.... Not surface. He's an idiot.

no-sweat said,

The fact that this guy managed to get a virus discredits anything he has to say about technology. If you have any intelligence, you won't get a virus.


edit - replied to the wrong comment but whatever
edit2 - lolol and he had to make a support call and pay $99 to fix it. classic.

Honestly... if someone is going to write an article about viruses, their credibility falls by the wayside if they themselves fell victims.

testman said,
Hahaha idiot.

Wow! Journalistic suicide. This guy (Geoffrey James) is now perpetually a moron. As Steve Jobs used to put it (well), his "bozo bit is set".